We rely on a combination of our vision, our inner-ear (vestibular system) and proprioception (our “joint position” senses; our sensory system) to keep us balanced. A disruption to any one of these can cause balance problems. This imbalance can disrupt your normal daily activities and have a negative impact on your quality of life. The good news is that many aspects of balance dysfunction and vertigo can be treated with physiotherapy.
Some inner ear issues (particularly positional type vertigo) can be treated with techniques in clinic. Other types of vertigo, balance dysfunction or poor balance can be treated with specific exercises. This is sometimes called vestibular rehabilitation, specific to the inner ear.
Eighty percent of people aged 65 years and older have experienced dizziness, and BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo), the most common vestibular disorder, is the cause of approximately 50% of dizziness in older people. However, people of all ages can also improve their balance through specific balance exercises.
The therapist will usually practice these with you to ensure that you are able to complete the exercises safely and the difficulty of the exercises is appropriate. Symptoms of vestibular dysfunction can include:
Make sure you tell the receptionist when booking your appointment if you would specifically like a treatment for vertigo or balance to ensure you get allocated to the right therapist!
We often see patients suffering from vestibular disorders on very short notice as early intervention is important. Our 7 day physiotherapy service means we have health professionals available for urgent bookings. We can assess eye movements, and the vestibular system to determine the cause of the symptoms and our physiotherapy services can be utilised to implement an immediate exercise program for vestibular rehabilitation.